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‘Plain wrong’: State IT Minister on report about govt ‘crackdown’ on phone makers


A Reuters report recently suggested that the Indian government may soon force smartphone makers to allow users to remove pre-installed apps. Refuting the report, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar has said that the ‘story is plain wrong’.

In a post on microblogging platform Twitter, the Minister said that the government is 100% committed to promote ease of doing business and is focused on growing electronics manufacturing in the country.

The story, he says, is based on ‘lack of understanding’ and ‘unfettered creative imagination’ that is based on an ongoing consultation process between the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) and the industry.

“This story is plain wrong – there is no “security testing” or “crackdown” as story suggests. Story is based on lack of understanding perhaps n unfettered creative imagination that is based an ongoing consultation process btwn Ministry n Industry on mobile security guidelines of BIS Standard IS17737 (Part-3) 2021. @GoI_MeitY is 100% committed to Ease of doing Business n is totally focussed on growing Electronics Mfg to touch USD 300Bln by 2026,” he wrote in the Twitter post.

For those unaware, Reuters recently published a report stating that India may soon propose new security rules, mandating screening of major operating system updates. Citing two people and a government document seen by Reuters itself, it said that the government may make it mandatory for smartphone makers to allow users to remove pre-installed apps on mobile handsets.

At present, most smartphones come with pre-installed apps that cannot be deleted. For example, Xiaomi’s app store GetApps, Samsung’s payment app Samsung Pay mini and iPhone maker Apple’s browser Safari. Under the new rules, smartphone makers will have to provide an uninstall option and new models will be checked for compliance by a lab authorized by the Bureau of Indian Standards agency, two people with knowledge of the plan said.

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